Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Around the NFC West: Ranting on the Rams
By Mike Sando
Those taking offense to the St. Louis Rams' approach and performance against Seattle in Week 11 have company.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch landed a 1,641-word uppercut through his "Monday Morning Backup Quarterback" column. Among the words and phrases Miklasz uses: irresponsible, foolish, silliness, epic fail, incompetent, mismanagement, inexcusable, utterly incapable and failing. Miklasz: "I feel bad for the fans who pay to watch this junk. The fans have hung in there better than the Rams deserve. The bottom line is this: the Rams are 10-32 under Spagnuolo. They are 12-46 since Billy Devaney came aboard in 2008. They've made no progress with Stan Kroenke as owner. The leadership is failing the team, the franchise, and the fan base." Noted: And there are still six games to play. Buckle up, Rams.
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com runs through the team's lengthy injury list.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com runs through three things he thought worked well for Seattle against the Rams, plus three things that need improving. Farnsworth: "Steven Jackson was coming off consecutive rushing performances of 159, 130 and 128 yards, and averaged 5.1 yards per carry as the Rams had won two of those games. Sunday, Jackson averaged 2.8 yards on 15 carries -- and without his 19-yarder in the second quarter on the one run where the Seahawks allowed him to get his 6-foot-2, 240-pound body going in a positive direction, that average dipped to 1.6 yards on his other 14 attempts."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times saw good things from Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner against Brandon Lloyd and the Rams. O'Neil: "Yes, he had another penalty, but that was just 5 yards. The Rams clearly wanted to test him, and Browner showed he was ready. Brandon Lloyd played in the Pro Bowl last season, and he's exactly the kind of smaller, quick wideout that could give Browner trouble. But Browner's physical style clearly affected him Sunday. Lloyd was targeted 14 times, and caught only five passes. Seattle's defense has ranked in the bottom six teams in the league in passing yards allowed in each of the past three seasons. That is changing this season thanks in part to the physical style of Browner."
Dave Wyman and Brock Huard of 710ESPN Seattle discuss how fines could affect Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. Wyman suggests Chancellor has a chance to become a Steve Atwater-type safety unless modern rules prevent him from doing so. Wyman and Atwater played together in Denver years ago.
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic has this to say about the Cardinals' offensive struggles: "There was hope with a new starting quarterback, Kevin Kolb, and what looked to be an improved running back, Beanie Wells. But Kolb stumbled out of the blocks and has missed the past three games because of a right-foot injury. Wells, looking bigger and bolder, started the season strong. He was averaging 103 yards (including 138 against the Giants) after the Cardinals' first three games. But after missing a game at Seattle because of a hamstring problem and then suffering an injury to his right knee against the Steelers, the threat of a running game is almost nonexistent."
Also from McManaman, with Kent Somers: Kolb sounds more optimistic about playing in Week 12. Kolb: "I think we're at the point now, with the tape job they're doing on it, and the rehab, hopefully I can't hurt it enough to have a huge setback. My mentality and our mentality is I'm going to push it as hard as it can go and try to be out there. ... I pushed it hard all [last] week, and it just wasn't there. I think I would have been hurting my team if I went out there and tried to play on it. I would have been limping around everywhere and definitely would not have been up to par."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com covers the Cardinals' quarterback situation and says the team is not sure when rookie running back Ryan Williams will return from a serious knee injury.
Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says there's no reason to make the 49ers' game against Baltimore into a battle between the Harbaugh brothers. Cohn: "We want to think of it as deep with psychological layers. We want to think Jim staring at John is Jim staring at himself. And we want to think the 49ers and Ravens are extensions of the brothers -- a blood feud between the sons of Jack and Jackie Harbaugh played out on grass. It is tempting to view this game as drama. Don’t. The Harbaugh brothers sure don’t." Noted: Totally agree. The brothers angle appeals much less than the football angle, at least to me.
Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News says Jim and John Harbaugh, now well into their 40s, haven't brawled since they were probably 25, according to John.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers never brought added pressure -- more than four pass-rushers -- against the Cardinals in Week 11. Noted: That suggests the 49ers were not worried about getting pressure and also thought John Skelton would struggle reading coverages.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle says Jim Harbaugh's ties to the Ravens include a nearly 30-year connection to Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.